• Combined contraceptive pill
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About Synphase
  1. What is Synphase?

    Synphase is an oral contraceptive pill, which is commonly known as 'the pill'.

    It is taken to prevent pregnancy in women. Synphase is called a combined pill because it contains two different hormones, a progestogen called norethisterone and an oestrogen hormone called ethinylestradiol.

    When taken correctly the combined contraception pill is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. You must have a prescription to buy Synphase.

    How does Synphase work?

    Synphase works to prevent pregnancy by stopping an egg from being released from the ovaries.

    Synphase also thickens the fluid in the cervix, which makes it much harder for sperm to enter the uterus and fertilise an egg that may have already been released.

    Additionally, Synphase will reduce the build-up of the endometrium (wall of the uterus), which normally happens during a menstrual cycle. By reducing this build-up, it is far less likely that any fertilised egg will be able to grow inside the womb. An added benefit of this medicine is that it will work to make your periods lighter.

    Please remember, an oral contraceptive pill like Synphase will only work to prevent you from getting pregnant. It does not protect you from catching sexually transmitted infections (STIs). You will still need to use a condom for this kind of protection.

    Who can take Synphase?

    Synphase is not a suitable combined pill for everyone to take.

    Do not use this medication if any of the following apply to you:

    • You are allergic to norethisterone or ethinylestradiol, or any of the other ingredients this medication contains (please refer to the Ingredients tab for a full list)
    • You have ever had a stroke, heart attack or have had angina
    • You have any body fat disorders or high levels of fat in your blood
    • You have ever had blood clots in the veins, lungs, legs, brain or any other part of your body
    • You have a family history of clotting issues
    • You have or have ever suffered from severe migraines
    • You have or have ever had a severe chronic liver disease, such as liver tumours
    • You have or have ever had breast cancer, cervical cancer, vaginal cancer or womb cancer
    • You have or have ever had any unexplained vaginal bleeding
    • You have hepatitis C and are using any medicines that contain ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir and/or dasabuvir
    • You are pregnant or there is a chance you might be pregnant
    • You suffered from jaundice or pruritus during a previous pregnancy

    Can you buy Synphase over the counter?

    Synphase can only be bought when you have been prescribed it.

    Can you buy Synphase online?

    You can buy Synphase online from Medicine Direct if you have already been prescribed it by a doctor. Just complete our confidential online questionnaire and one of our registered prescribers can issue a repeat prescription for you to order this contraceptive pill from our online pharmacy.

    If you place your order with us by 2pm, we can have your medicine with you the next day.

    It is important to ensure that you are buying medicine online from a fully regulated UK pharmacy such as Medicine Direct. To learn more about our company, team, medical professionals, and the licenses we hold, visit our about us page.

    Alternatives to Synphase

    Many different oral contraceptives are available to buy as an alternative to Synphase.

    You can buy oral contraceptive pills online from Medicine Direct after an online consultation. We stock a number of alternatives to Synphase including:

    View our Contraceptive Pill page to see the full range of options. 

    For more information on different types of contraception that may be suitable for you, we recommend visiting the Contraception Choices website.

  2. Synphase Dosage 

    How do you take Synphase?

    Our pharmacists and prescribers follow NICE guidelines when prescribing Synphase

    To effectively prevent pregnancy, you must take Synphase tablets exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has instructed you. Please read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before you start taking it. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are still unclear about anything.

    Each pack of Synphase contains 21 tablets:

    • Seven blue tablets
    • Nine white tablets
    • Five more blue tablets

    Each colour contains a different dose of hormones. When taken in the correct order, they will mimic the natural rise and fall of your body's hormones during the menstrual cycle.

    One tablet should be taken each day in the right order. Swallow the tablet whole with a drink of water. Do not crush or chew them.

    You can take this medication with or without food. This pill can be taken at any time of day that is convenient for you. However, you must take it at the same time each day.

    What if I miss a pill?

    If you have missed one pill, take it as soon as you remember, then take your next pill at your usual time. This may mean that you need to take more than one pill on the same day.

    If you are later than 12 hours in taking the pill, or you have missed more than one pill, you may not have full contraceptive protection. You should take the last pill you missed and carry on taking Synphase as usual. However, use an extra method of contraception, such as a condom, for the next seven days.

    If you have fewer than seven tablets left in a pack after forgetting to take one, finish that blister pack then start the next one without your usual break. This may mean you do not get a period until you have finished two blister packs, but this will not do you any harm.

  3. Synphase side effects

    Like all medicines, Synphase can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses this combined pill will suffer from them.

    Some research has suggested that taking the combined oral pill can increase your risk of developing blood clots and certain types of cancer. Please refer to the 'Warnings' tab for more information on this.

    Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you suffer from any of the following side effects:

    • High blood pressure
    • Depression
    • Headaches
    • Feeling sick
    • Upset stomach
    • Irregular bleeding from the vagina
    • Swollen or sore breasts
    • Appetite changes
    • Changes in your sex drive
    • Weight gain
    • Changes in how your body breaks down sugars, fats or vitamins
    • Womb disorders getting worse
    • Please note, this list is not exhaustive. Please refer to the Side Effects tab for more information.
  4. Synphase Warnings

    Before you start to use oral contraceptives like Synphase, you must inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are already taking any other medication. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medicine, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.

    It is particularly important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. They may stop this combined pill from working properly:

    • Nevirapine, Ritonavir (to treat HIV and AIDS)
    • Nelfinavir (to treat HIV)
    • Primidone, Phenytoin, Oxacarbazepine, Carbamazepine, Topiramate (to treat epilepsy)
    • Phenobarbital (to treat epilepsy, anxiety and sleeplessness)
    • Griseofulvin (to treat fungal infections)
    • The herbal remedy St. John's Wort (to treat depression)
    • Rifampicin, Rifabutin (to treat bacterial infections)
    • Modafinil (to treat narcolepsy)

    See the NICE website for more information on medicines that interact with combined oral pills.  

    Full details on who this medicine may not be suitable for can be found in the patient information leaflet, which will come with your medication.

    Pregnancy and breastfeeding

    Do not use Synphase if you are currently pregnant, think you might be pregnant, are breastfeeding or are trying to get pregnant.

    If you miss a period while taking this contraceptive pill, tell your doctor or pharmacist straight away. You will need to do a pregnancy test before you can carry on taking it.

    For more information on oral contraceptives and pregnancy.

  5. Synphase Ingredients

    The main active ingredients within this medicine are: Norethisterone and Ethinylestradiol

    For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics.

  6. How much does it cost to buy Synphase online in the UK?

    Medicine Quantity Price
    Synphase Tablets 3 Months (63 Tablets) £21.99
    Synphase Tablets 6 Months (168 Tablets) £31.99


  7. FAQs

    When should I start taking Synphase?

    Start taking Synphase on your first day of bleeding. Make sure you begin by taking the right tablet. This will give you protection straight away. 

    How effective is Synphase?

    As long as you take it properly, Synphase will provide over 99% effectiveness against getting pregnant.

    Is taking one pill enough to stop me from getting pregnant?

    Taking one pill a day, in the correct order, will be enough to prevent pregnancy.

    Is Synphase effective straight away?

    If you start to take it on the first day of your menstrual cycle, you will have contraceptive protection straight away. You can begin taking Synphase up to the fifth day of your period, but if you do this you will need to use some form of contraception, such as a condom, for the first week.

    When should I take Synphase?

    You can take Synphase at any time of day that is most convenient for you. However, this should be the time you take the pill each day.

    Can Synphase make your breasts grow?

    You may experience breast swelling if you take too many pills. Swollen breasts are also a possible side effect. Combined pills can sometimes cause hormonal changes that temporarily enlarge the breasts, too.

    Can birth control pills change your body shape?

    Some women experience weight gain while taking the combined pill.

    Does Synphase stop your period from coming?

    If you notice any changes to your period while taking Synphase, you should tell your doctor. If your period is late, take a pregnancy test to make sure you are not pregnant.

    How old should I be when I stop using birth control?

    Women should stop using combined contraceptive pills at the age of 50. Usually, you do not need to use any contraception after the age of 55, as the risk of pregnancy is significantly lessened by this point.

    Does Synphase affect your sex drive?

    Changes in sex drive is a side effect that can occur in some women who take Synphase. It may go up or down.

Written byHussain Abdeh MPharm: 2211840

Updated on: 25/06/2021

This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan

Hussain Abdeh Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct

Hussain Abdeh
MPharm: 2211840

Pharmacist Independent Prescriber

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